Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation

by Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation
Defending Palestinians with Strategic Litigation

Project Report | Apr 27, 2023
Adalah's recent achievements in the fields of economic & social rights and civil & political rights

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

Dear Friends,

Many greetings from Adalah.

During the past month, Adalah achieved important successes on behalf of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the fields of economic & social rights and civil & political rights, despite the ongoing discriminatory practices and the formidable obstacles posed by the new ultra-right-wing Israeli government advancing racist policies and laws, particularly against Palestinians.

Among Adalah's recent major successes:

Ensuring the provision of a state funded Psychometric preparation course in Arabic 

Following Adalah's years-long legal intervention, in March 2023, the Israel National Digital Agency – a project led by the Ministry of Economy and Industry – announced that it had begun providing a free online preparatory course for the national Psychometric exam in Arabic, after it was previously offered only in Hebrew.

The preparatory online course for the Psychometric exam, which determines students’ higher education eligibility, has been offered to students since January 2019. Until now, the online course was available only in Hebrew, thereby discriminating against students who take the exam in Arabic. Approximately one-third of all students in Israel take the Psychometric examination in Arabic, and this figure has been steadily increasing over the past decade, although there remains a consistent significant gap in the average scores between Arabic and Hebrew tests. For example, in 2021 the average Hebrew-language score was 579, while the average Arabic-language score was 495 (out of a maximum score of 700).

Since December 2018, Adalah has launched a series of legal actions demanding that the state allocate funds also for a Psychometric prep course in Arabic in advance of the Arabic exams. In the letters, Adalah stressed that offering the course only in Hebrew will cause serious harm to Palestinian students, will perpetuate existing education gaps, and will make it more difficult for Palestinian students to integrate into academia and, later, into the workforce.

As the majority of potential higher education students, both Palestinian and Jewish students, undergo preparatory courses for the exam, offering a free preparatory course only in Hebrew constitutes a discrimination on the basis of nationality. A report by the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (the body in charge of the Psychometric exam) reveals a direct correlation between the economic and social situation of the test takers and their final mark. Israel's decades long discriminatory policies in budget allocations has contributed to worsening the economic situation – and consequently, the educational attainment – of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

This newly announced free course is a step toward closing the gaps in academia between Palestinian and Jewish students and allows Palestinian students the opportunity to prepare for the Psychometric exam with fewer financial constraints.

Read more HERE

 

Tel Aviv University lifts ban on a book fair organized by Palestinian student movement on campus

On 19 March 2023, Adalah appealed a decision by Tel Aviv University to prevent Jafra (a Palestinian student movement on campus) from holding their annual book fair on campus. The university administration conditioned holding the book fair on campus on Jafra obtaining a permit from the police for the event and not including books that could potentially "incite against the state of Israel". In the appeal, Adalah argued that the university’s decision constituted a violation of cultural freedoms and freedom of expression and imposed illegal censorship on student activity at the university.

Adalah also appealed a decision by the university to ban an event by another Palestinian student movement – Jabha – protesting against Israeli authorities’ ban on the raising of the Palestinian flag in public spaces, as Jabha had planned to paint the Palestinian flag on campus during an upcoming event.

As argued in the appeals, these decisions violate the regulations and the constitution of Tel Aviv University, which call on allowing freedom of protest against the judicial overhaul that the new government is advancing. Despite these regulations, the university conversely imposed censorship on books, following in the footsteps of dark regimes in history that prevented the sale and distribution of books and cultural content. In addition, the administration violated students’ right to protest and political expression by preventing them from holding events protesting against racist governmental laws and policies. The university, which should provide a space for the free exchange of ideas and opinions, infringed on the academic rights of Palestinian students by silencing them.

After the university initially rejected Adalah’s appeal to hold the book fair, Adalah sent a follow-up letter demanding the administration to reconsider its decision, following which, on 18 April 2023, the university administration informed Jafra that they will allow them to hold the book fair on campus.

 

Releasing a Palestinian protestor from house arrest

S.T, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested on 5 April 2023 for raising the Palestinian flag during a protest in the northern city of Haifa against Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. The following day, the Haifa district court approved the police’s request to release S.T under a six-day house arrest.

Adalah, with private attorney R.N, filed an urgent appeal against the court’s decision to confine her to house arrest at her parents’ house in a town outside of Haifa. Adalah and R.N argued that the restrictions imposed on S.T would disproportionately harm her freedom of movement and freedom to pursue her occupation.

The District Court accepted Adalah and R.N’s appeal, ordering the immediate release of S.T without any restrictive conditions.

____________________

 

Adalah will continue to challenge discriminatory and racist policies targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Thank you for your continued support for Adalah’s work. We sincerely appreciate it.

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Dec 19, 2022
Happy Holidays from Adalah and Highlights of our work

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

Sep 1, 2022
Adalah's Strategic Legal Cases

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

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